By Dorothy Tucker

CHICAGO (CBS) — How does someone graduate from college before getting a high school diploma?

18-year-old Raven Osborne graduated from Purdue Northwest Friday afternoon with “Extraordinary Distinction” a few weeks before earning her high school diploma. Osborne is of the generation that has the distinction of getting their Bachelor of Arts before their high school diplomas.

“It’s kind of surreal. I can’t believe I made it all the way,” Osborne said.

Osborne began taking both high school and college classes her freshman year at 21st Century Charter School in Gary, Indiana. This schedule, which sometimes consisted of online and year-round classes, continued for all four years.

“I went to summer school. I didn’t waste my time.”

Osborne’s sophomore year schedule was packed with five high school classes and four college courses.

Osborne recognizes the support she received from high school teachers, college professors and her mom, who provided her daughter with a loving nudge when needed.

“I would pass by, and she’d be studying, and I’d pass back by her room and she’d be asleep! And so I would say, ‘Raven, you have a test, you have to wake up,'” Hazel Osborne recalled.

The payoff is not only an excellent education, but also a free college degree, courtesy of the special program at the high school.

“I had my goals and I reached them.”

Osborne graduates from high school on May 22 and will return to Century Charter in August as a primary school teacher.

Watch & Listen LIVE